Friday, August 31, 2012

So Cool

One of the coolest things about writing your own blog is that you get to see which posts are most popular and what people are searching for online. Many people stumble upon this blog when they are searching for something else. 

You will never guess in one hundred years what is most popular here at Not Talking. Big Time Rush? Nope. Real Housewives of Orange County. A local restaurant review? Not even close.

My post about being a good host. Yes, you read that right. A post about hosting guests. BORING! I can't even believe it. I have had over 2000 views of this post. I wrote it after an uncomfortable stay at a friend's house. It was all true and from my heart. I have no idea why it has had so many views and where they came from online.

My mom's final post before she died has had almost a 1000 hits and I love that. She would be so happy to know that so many people have read her words. She had just started her blog right before she died. What a great message of loving life!

Fat Cheerleader is number three of my top viewed posts. It is short and not so sweet of a post, written on a low day. It is my most "searched for on google" posts with 161 searches! Who wants to know about fat cheerleaders? Would love to know!

I spent some time tonight redecorating my blog. I included a new subscription section (on the right) that hopefully works better than the one I had before. I am shocked that anyone ever stops by to see what I am writing. I have been writing this blog for over four years and I truly enjoy writing.

Welcome to readers from Australia, Russia and Netherlands. Wow! I would have never guessed that the top three countries that visit my site would be those three countries. I have a lot of friends in Ireland and the UK so I would have thought they would be at the top. Not even close on the stats. Crazy.

When you write a blog, you look to the stats to affirm that you aren't wasting your time. It is plain old fun to see it all in print. Thank you for taking your precious time and checking out my site now and then. I love writing. It makes me happy. I am so glad that you are here.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Our Family Oath

Our conversation went like this the other day.

Imagine if the Boy Scouts decided one day that they wouldn't let boys be a Boy Scout if they had blue eyes. Ryan yelled at me first "No way. They would never do that. I have blue eyes." Imagine if they said only brown eyed boys could join. "They couldn't." I then asked, "What about if African-American boys couldn't join?" "They couldn't do that," they yelled.

I then exhaled and began a very difficult conversation. We would not be allowing our boys to rejoin the Boy Scouts. I explained the latest ruling by the Boy Scouts. Weeks earlier, the Boy Scouts announced that "While the B.S.A. does not proactively inquire about the sexual orientation of employees, volunteers, or members, we do not grant membership to individuals who are open or avowed homosexuals or who engage in behavior that would become a distraction to the mission of the B.S.A.”

When I read those words in the newspaper, it hit me straight in the gut. My boys just finished up a week at a fantastic Boy Scout summer camp. They were really getting into earning badges and making friends. When I read the announcement, I had to make a choice.

Before I talked to my boys, I kept thinking that it just wasn't right. I can't allow my children to think that it is OK to exclude others. And it isn't OK for me to be apart of this organization as a family.  It goes against everything I believe. My heart goes out to any gay boy that is close to earning the Eagle Scout badge. And to the great leaders that may be gay, I am sorry that the organization that you have dedicated your life of service has now decided that you are unworthy.

The Supreme Court ruled in 2000 that the Boy Scouts of America have the right to restrict their membership. I understand their rights. But I found it interesting that the Girl Scouts have vowed to allow gay membership. Big Brothers Big Sisters also allow gay members. I know the organization has the right to make their own rules. But, as a parent, I make mine.

And to my children, I don't know if you are gay or not. I just want you to know that your mom was trying to teach you a lesson that day in the van. You may not remember why exactly you can't be a Boy Scout. You will know what we value and that we stick up for others. The Boy Scout Oath states that you are to "help others at all times."  We are taking a stand and being vocal for those that are being excluded from this organization.  It is our family oath.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Feeding the Hungry

When you have a family birthday party, what do you serve? Is it pizza every time? Do you shake it up and make lasagna sometimes? Order subs? I am honestly making myself crazy about it. I know I should do better than pizza but I just can't. I am still a cook in training. I love trying new recipes and cooking when I have the energy but the thought of cleaning the whole house and cooking is making me break out in hives. With three kids home, a massive trip to the grocery store just seems impossible the last week of summer vacation. There is not enough power and energy left in my body to do it. We just had a party three weeks ago for Elle and I served pizza. Ugh.

Before I give in and order the pizza, lets take a look at my family requirements. I apologize to my family. I hardly ever call you out. But I just have to do it.

**Ryan, the pickiest eater ever.  Ever. Doesn't even eat hamburgers. Enough said. It's his birthday. Wants pizza.

**My sister is a bacontarian. She is vegetarian but eats bacon. 

**Kyle prefers all carbs especially pasta with butter.

**My father doesn't like most marina sauces and not wild about pasta. 

**My mother in law doesn't like tomatoes and most veggies. 

**Our grill is broken. 

Now that I see it in print, it doesn't look too hard to find something everyone will eat. If I could somehow drink three Red Bulls, I am sure I could do it.

But you know what I am going to do. I am going to text my husband and order Pizzazz salads, calzones just to surprise the relatives and order Ryan's favorite pizza from Marco's. I am going to pretend that it isn't that I can't do it, I am just having my party "catered."

I am off to clean the house and break up some fights between the boys. I haven't even started my list of appetizers to serve. I seem to always serve the same ones. That means there is a small grocery trip with the kids in my future. Maybe I better include some vodka with that Red Bull.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

To the braggers

If you were coming here to have a little break, I apologize. I had to get this out. I promise to not be "that" friend who goes on and on about everything she has to do. This is a one time deal. I promise. 

I love Facebook (FB) but sometimes, I want to reach into the screen and strangle some people. I am a peaceful person but a wild response comes out of me when I hear a FB friend brag that they have finished their "Back to School" shopping. They are worse than the "I am enjoying every moment with my kids this summer" people that respond to my "barely hanging on" Facebook update. I am not even making a list at this point. I am just pulling the lists off the fridge stage. I feel about a month behind. I am still trying to check off trips to the zoo and science center. There's no time for shopping. We still need more pool time! We haven't gotten our money's worth of memberships. Where did the summer go? We start early so I am down to the last days. One week to be exact.

And to make this crazy August crazier, in the next week, we have two birthdays and a family wedding. Kyle is the ring barer. So include a rehearsal dinner, soccer practice and school orientation into this crazy week. So instead of falling asleep at night, I lay there trying to think of something other that pizza to serve at the family birthday party, figure out what day I am going supply shopping for school and make lists over and over in my head. And who knows when I will clean this house?

So to the braggers on Facebook, I know I am only seeing your highlight reel. I can barely breathe over here in my blessed little life. I feel like I am in a race to the finish to the first day of school. I am running and running and looking forward to exhaling when I see that bus pull away.

Friday, August 3, 2012


I have never been a big delegator. When I worked, I had a tough time passing off assignments to others and felt more comfortable doing it myself. I find myself doing the same thing at home. Yes, you can say it. I am a control freak.

I didn't realize it was so bad until one of my close relatives who shall not be named, started to tease me a little. I brought McDonalds home and my kids sat and waited for me to dish it all out to them. I had to grab the plates, ketchup and drinks. They sat very patiently and waited. And he started laughing hard. He couldn't believe that they didn't help me. I never realized that they should. I guess.

As the days seem to grow longer and longer the closer we get to the start of school, I realized that I can't keep this up. I am not doing my kids any favors by doing everything for them. I always tease my oldest, Ryan, that I can't go to college with him in eight years. He has to start doing things on his own. He acts helpless.  Elle who is three is sometimes more helpful that my 10 and 8 year-old boys. But if you've watched Oprah you know that you show people how to treat you. I know I have taught or not taught my kids by being their waitress, cook and maid.

My mom worked a lot as a kid. We were pretty independent around the house. I didn't grow up with a mom that did everything for me. She didn't do much other than work and take care of herself. I remember washing my clothes at age 9 or so. I washed the whole household's clothes within a few years. And we handled all of the house cleaning by the time I was in middle school. So I grew up doing it all.

So things must change here. I moved all of my food around yesterday so that they can get their own food without any help. I moved bowls where they can reach them and they are getting their own breakfasts, snacks and sometimes their lunch.

With three kids, I can't do it all. I know this isn't much but it is a start. I know I am a bad delegator. I am also lazy about handing out assignments and being an enforcer. And don't get me started on chores. That's a whole other problem. I am just going to get them started in the right direction. College in eight years with Ryan? Only if I get to pick the school!

I'm Not Talking About It, I'm Just Saying...